Expo 2020 Dubai will witness a unique feat never seen before: the perfect reproduction of Michelangelo’s David. A resin statue with the same dimensions as the original, but with a weight ten times smaller, covered with Carrara marble powder to make it surprisingly similar to Michelangelo’s masterpiece. Starting from April 27, the copy of the David will be installed at the center of the Italian Pavilion at Expo, as a symbol of the Italian genius.
The project is promoted by the Italian General Commissioner’s Office for Expo 2020 Dubai, the Galleria dell’Accademia Museum of Florence and the Ministry of Culture in partnership with the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Florence. Coordinated by Professor Grazia Tucci, the team that carried out this enterprise saw the participation of technicians and researchers from academia and the industrial world, in order to network a wide range of different specialist skills.
The twin of David was made in a laboratory in the center of Florence, where restorer Nicola Salvioli worked for two months, together with his collaborators, to shape the first cast of the work, a three-dimensional document resulting from a giant 3D printer. Although no representation is able to restore the pathos of Buonarroti’s masterpiece, according to Professor Grazia Tucci even a reproduction can have a soul. “A bad restoration can destroy the aura more than how an excellent copy can recreate it. Because beauty is not only something that emanates from the object but also derives from what is in the eyes, in the head and in the heart of the observer” she said.
The purpose, however, of the copy of Michelangelo’s David is not only to bring the skill and excellence of our technicians and restorers to the Universal Exposition in Dubai, but also to help scientists and art historians to better understand the details of its creation.
“[…] An archetype, which will never be able to equal or even come close to the original, but will be its messenger, a technological, artistic and artisan alter ego” said Cecilie Hollberg, Director of the Accademia Gallery. “The representation of David will be a spiritual message for Dubai and for the world. But the original will remain here, irreplaceable, to emanate beauty”.